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42 New Pelotonia Fellowships Awarded for Cancer Research at Ohio State

42 New Pelotonia Fellowships Awarded for Cancer Research at Ohio State

Fellowships-IconThe Pelotonia Fellowship Review Committee recently awarded 42 fellowships to Ohio State students who want to conduct cancer research in the labs of faculty mentors.

Pelotonia Fellowship Manager Marie Gibbons says the committee—co-led by Pelotonia Fellowship Program Director Joanna Groden, PhD, and byJanice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD—awarded fellowships to 26 undergraduates, 14 graduates and two postdoctoral fellows. The undergraduates will receive funding for one year; the graduates and postdoctoral fellows will receive funding for two years.

The fellowships are funded by Pelotonia, the annual grassroots bicycle tour that raises millions of dollars for cancer research at Ohio State.

Of the undergraduate fellowship awards, Gibbons reports that 17 students are from the College of Arts and Sciences, four are from the College of Engineering, four are from the College of Medicine and one is from the College of Pharmacy. She notes that two of the undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college.

Gibbons says three of the graduate awardees are from the College of Arts and Sciences, four are from the College of Engineering and five are from the College of Medicine. She adds that two of these new fellows are from the University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, two are the first in their families to attend college, and nine are the first in their families to attend graduate school.

Since it started in 2010, the Pelotonia Fellowship Program has allocated $2 million a year (except for the first year, when it allocated $1 million) for training grants for students in any discipline or at any level of scholarship at Ohio State, Nationwide Children’s Research Institute and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Altogether, Gibbons says, the program has awarded more than $13 million in fellowships for 433 peer-reviewed cancer research projects undertaken by Ohio State students in the labs of faculty mentors.  Fellowships have gone to 205 undergraduates, 128 graduates, 94 postdoctoral fellows and six professional students.

Gibbons also says the program has provided international research experiences for 21 Ohio State undergraduates in India and Brazil, and it has brought 14 students from India and Brazil to contribute to science in Ohio State labs.

Here’s a list of the most recent fellowship awardees, their hometowns, the titles of their research projects, and the names of their faculty mentors (in that order):



Raisa Amin, Dhaka, Bangladesh, “Breast Cancer Survivor Depression and Heart Rate Variability: Risks for Heightened Pain Sensitivity,” Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD

Mary Carson, Hilliard, Ohio, “Improving the Effectiveness of an Online Intervention for Major Depressive Disorder in Cancer Patients,” Barbara Andersen, PhD

Alexandria Carter, Shepherdsville, Ky., “Construction, Expression and Functional Evaluation of Chimeric NKG2D Receptor in Murine NK Cells,” Michael A. Caligiuri, MD

Jonathan Chang, Gahanna, Ohio, “Effects of Therapeutic Targeting of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts on Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in an Engineered Tumor Stroma Model,” Jonathan Song, PhD

Samuel Chen, Worthington, Ohio, “Elucidating Transcriptional Regulation of an ETS Factor Involved in the EGFR Feedback Loop,” Amanda Simcox, PhD

Nick Courtney, Powell, Ohio, “Effect of Bromodomain 4 (BRD4) Inhibition on Levels and Function of Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells,” William Carson, MD

Luke Genutis, Bedford, Ohio, “Exploring SMAD3 in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma,” Albert de la Chapelle, MD, PhD

Nick Grosenbacher, Tallmadge, Ohio, “Investigation of Aromatase Inhibitors in Endometrial Cancer Cells in Combination With a Dual TORC1/2 Inhibitor,” James Chen, MD

Justin Jiang, Worthington, Ohio, “Development of a Gene-Editing Platform to Construct a Liver Tumor Model in Adult Mice,” Yizhou Dong, PhD

Cody Justice, Westerville, Ohio, “Cardio-Oncology: The Mechanism of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor-Induced Heart Failure,” Sakima Smith, MD

Jass Kaur, Cleveland, Ohio, “The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Chemotherapy-Induced Behavioral Co-morbidities,” Leah Pyter, PhD

Dinushi Kulasekere, Akron, Ohio, “The Impact of Severity Scale Systems on Patient Treatment, Cost and Outcome,” Bruce Weinberg, PhD

Alexandria Lenyo, Huron, Ohio, “Determining the Role of Point Mutation E566A in Cholangiocarcinoma Therapy Resistance,” Sameek Roychowdhury, MD, PhD

James Li, Dayton, Ohio, “Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Disruptions in mRNA Secondary Structure in Oncogenes as Selective Pressures and a Means to Profile Different Cancer Types,” Peter White, PhD

Julia Love, Dublin, Ohio, “Determination of the Safety and Efficacy of the Novel Oncolytic Herpes Simplex-1 Virus, Mut-3ΔICP6, for the Treatment of Pediatric Neuroblastoma,” Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD

Seth Lyon, Marion, Ohio, “Defective Processing of Mutated tRNAs by Mitochondrial Rnase P as a Molecular Basis for Some Forms of Liver and Brain Cancer,” Venkat Gopalan, PhD

Neil Makhijani, Centerville, Ohio, “IL-6 Blockade Combined With MEK Inhibition in Cancer-Induced Cachexia,” Thomas Mace, PhD

Siobhan McDermott, Cleveland, Ohio, “The Effect of Depression and Cancer Treatment on Physical Fitness Among Breast Cancer Survivors,” Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD

Ivan Pires, Sao Paulo, Brazil, “Photosensitizers for Targeting Tumor Associated Macrophages in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer,” Andre Palmer, PhD

Aman Prasad, Dublin, Ohio, “The Role of micro-RNA-155 on Cellular Metabolism in Natural Killer Cells to Facilitate Interferon-Gamma Production,” Michael A. Caligiuri, MD

Maria Riley, Westerville, Ohio, “Role of STAT3 in Hypoxic Ovarian Cancer: A Potential Therapeutic Target,” Selvendrian Karuppaiyah, PhD

Griffin Spychalski, New Albany, Ohio, “Isolation of the Spatial Effects of S1P and VEGF on Tumor Angiogenesis and Vascular Permeability,” Jonathan Song, PhD

Manuel Torres, San Juan, Puerto Rico, “The Relationship Between Ancestral Background and Frequency of Canonical Lung Adenocarcinoma Driver Mutations in Brazilian Patients,” David Carbone, MD, PhD

Jessica Waibl, Worthington, Ohio, “Investigating the Role of ETA1 in Development and Function of Natural Killer Cells,” Natarajan Muthusamy, DVM, PhD

Logan Walker, Fargo, N.D., “Development of RNA Transcript Degradation Modeling in Lc/scRNA-seq With Applications in CLL Samples,” Ralf Bundschuh, PhD

Jonathan Wright, Toledo, Ohio, “Characterization of Unexpected Activities of the ABD2 Domain of Human Plastins,” Dmitri Kudryashov, MD, PhD



Alex Avendano, Carolina, Puerto Rico, “Identifying Contributions of PTEN-Deleted Pancreatic Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts to Tumor Mechanopathology,” Jonathan Song, PhD

Donald Belcher, Duncan, Okla., “Chemo Sensitization of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Facilitated by Polymerized Human Hemoglobins,” Andre Palmer, PhD

Russell Bonneville, Grove City, Ohio, “Assessment of Microsatellite Instability Across the Landscape of Human Cancer,” Sameek Roychowdhury, MD, PhD

Chia-Wen Chang, Taiwan, “Microfluidic Lymphatic Vessel Analogue System for Studying Lymphangiogenesis and Lung Cancer Intravasation,” Jonathan Song, PhD 

Luxi Chen, San Jose, Calif., “Development and Regulation of the Human Group 2 Innate Lymphoid Cell,” Michael A. Caligiuri, MD

Miranda Gardner, Atwater, Ohio, “The Tale Behind the Tails: A Mass Spectrometry-Based Approach to Investigate the Role of a Histone Methyltransferase, EZH2, in Chromatin Remodeling, Cell Proliferation and Tumorigenesis,” Michael Freitas, PhD

Eileen Hu, Milpitas, Calif., “A Paradigm Shift in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: The Role of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in CLL Leukemogenesis,” Natarajan Muthusamy, PhD, and John C. Byrd, MD

Hanyang Huang, Yangzhong, Jiangsu, China, “Smartphone-Based Whole Slide Scanner for Fast Tumor Identification and Accurate Diagnosis,” Yi Zhao, PhD

Jose Javier, Southeast Asia, “Active Transforming Growth Factor β1 (aTGFβ-1) as a Predisposing Factor of B-Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia During Chronic Inflammatory Stress,” Marie-Dominique Filippi, PhD

Debadrita Modak, Kolkata, India, “Structural Insights Into ProtoCadherin-7-Mediated Carcinoma-Astrocyte Gap Junction Formation Which Promotes Brain Metastasis,” Marcos Sotomayor, PhD

Madeline Niederkorn, Eastlake, Ohio, “Uncovering Mechanisms of del(5q) MDA/AML Disease Progression Through the TIFAB-USP15 Signalsome,” Daniel Starczynowski, PhD

Andrew Reed, Alliance, Ohio, “Investigation Into the Effects of Human DNA Polymerase β Cancer Variants on 8-oxoG Repair,” Zucai Suo, PhD

Les Sprague, Sidney, Ohio, “The Virus-Induced Therapeutic Adjuvant Effect,” Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD

David Weiss, Lehighton, Pa., “The Impact of Stress, Depression and Treatment on Vaccine Responses in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia,” Barbara Andersen, PhD



Lindsey Brinton, Blacksburg, Va., “The Role of BIRC6 Mutation and Aberrant Expression in Acute Myeloid Leukemia,” John C. Byrd, MD, and Rosa Lapalombella, PhD

Pedro de la Torre Marquez, Atlantico, Colombia, “Resolving the Structural Determinants of Protocadherin-20 Function in Cancer,” Marcos Sotomayor, PhD


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